Less than a year into his second term of four years in office, President Muhammadu Buhari is better positioned to deliver the strongest economy on the African continent, with ongoing multiple reforms, say Middle East newspaper reviews.
“President Buhari, as head of state, began to rebuild the country’s social, political and economic systems, along with the reality of austerity economic conditions. Reconstruction included the removal or reduction of excesses in national spending, total elimination of corruption resulting from the country’s social ethics, or shift from primarily employing the public sector to self-employment,’’ Amwal, a Qatari business news website said.
In an article titled, “During The ‘Buhari’ Era…Will Nigeria Become the Strongest Economy in Africa?’’, the media outfit said the President’s “integrity, and discipline, and his fame for strict measures against political corruption within the armed forces and civil institutions,’’ will fuel the effort to reverse the “oil curse’’, which had pervaded the continent since 1958.
According to the review, President Buhari had worked to diversify the tributaries of the Nigerian economy, attracted foreign investment, reallocated resources, developed the structure of exports and imports by expanding manufacturing operations and exporting manufactured products, instead of continuing to export cheap materials.
By rejecting the proposal of the International Monetary Fund, which suggested devaluation of the naira by 60 per cent, the business review noted that the President took a right decision to stimulate and buoy the economy, including encouraging import substitution with local materials.
“Today, Nigeria has a good economic situation. In July 2018, the IMF issued a list of the strongest African economies, in which Nigeria ranked first with a total of 376.3 billion dollars of oil production annually, ahead of Saudi Arabia, whose oil production stands at the index of 349.3 billion dollars,’’ Amwal added.
The review also considered Nigeria’s 1.93 per cent GDP growth in 2018, and a 2.28 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of 2019.
In another article titled, “President Buhari…The Link Between Nigeria and the World’’, a Bahrain based business news website, Al Watan Al Arabi, said “within 20 months as head of state in the first terms, about 500 politicians, government officials and businessmen were under interrogation for corruption. The detainees were released after government sums were collected back and they agreed to meet Nigerian government terms.’’
The news sites said the Nigerian President had maintained a balanced foreign policy, especially as he wanted to win the support of the United States of America and the West in general through his objective of defeating Boko haram.